Karl Newman, President
Darrin Sanger, Communications Director
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
/Follow on Twitter/karljnewman
/Follow on Twitter/darrinsanger
years later: Mount St. Helens Blast a reminder to be ready
SEATTLE - Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens
eruption that rocked the Northwest and is a grim reminder that
natural disasters can strike at any time with little warning and
cause massive damage.
The Mount St. Helens blast stacked up 40,000 insurance claims
and caused $27 million in insured losses - that's $71.3 million
in today's dollars.
Though natural disasters like volcanic eruptions are hard to
predict, developing a disaster preparedness plan can increase
your chances of saving your family and property from a catastrophic
"Mount St. Helens is still active," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance
Council president, "and the other volcanoes in the region are
dormant, not extinct, so the risk to lives and property from volcanic
eruption is very real and should not be taken lightly."
The Northwest has a wide variety of natural disaster risks -
volcanoes, earthquake, flooding, tsunami, wildfire, landslide,
severe windstorms and freezing weather.
Fortunately, you don't need a completely separate disaster preparedness
plan for each type of disaster. Put together a comprehensive plan
that takes into account all of your risks.
The NW Insurance Council
offers the following tips to help you develop an effective plan
for surviving the next disaster:
- Develop an effective disaster preparedness plan. Visit www.GetReadyNW.org.
- Develop an emergency kit that includes at least a four-day
supply of drinking water and food you don't have to refrigerate
or cook. The kit should also contain first aid supplies, a weather
radio, batteries, clothing, blankets, medicine, copies of your
insurance policies and some basic tools. More disaster planning
resources are available from the Red
- Review your insurance policies to be sure you have the right
coverage to meet your needs. Find out what your insurance will
cover. Most Homeowners Insurance
policies do not cover damage caused by flood, earthquake, landslides
- Flood Insurance can be purchased
through the National Flood Insurance Program. You can purchase
earthquake coverage separately through your Homeowners insurance
- Develop a Home Inventory of your personal property. A complete
inventory of your possessions will help you and your adjuster
get through the claims process more quickly, including insurance
settlements and/or tax deductions for losses. Don't trust your
memory. List descriptions, take pictures and include receipts
when possible. Store your home inventory and insurance papers
in waterproof containers offsite in a safety deposit box or
with a friend. You can access free, downloadable Home
Inventory software from the Insurance Information Institute.
- Become familiar with your community's disaster preparedness
- Plan an escape route in the event you have to evacuate your
home. Check with city or county officials for low points in
the event of a flood or tsunami.
- Determine the location of the nearest official shelter. The
Red Cross can locate shelters near your home and explain what
you should take with you.
- Agree on a meeting place for your family in case local communications
networks are offline. Also determine a virtual meeting place
such as a voicemail box or online social networking site.
- Designate out-of-state contacts in case you can't communicate
For more information on protecting your family, home and business
from a disaster, visit GetReadyNW.org
or contact NW Insurance Council at 800-664-4942.
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization
funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon